The CW is looking to make its newest Arrowverse spinoff a villain-centric series featuring the unlikeliest of characters.
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Variety reports a backdoor pilot has been ordered centering on the Black Lightning foe Painkiller, played by Jordan Calloway, whose credits also include guest appearances on The CW’s Riverdale and Hulu’s Freakish.
Calloway plays a slightly different Painkiller than the one in the comics by Tony Isabella and artist Eddie Newell, though he did sport the dreadlocks for a while.
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Real name Khalil Payne, Painkiller was a former high-school football player who lost the use of his legs, until an artificial spine granted him the ability to walk again, along with metahuman powers including enhanced strength and the ability to anesthetize an opponent’s limbs through the use of his ‘painkiller’ darts.
Khalil did the bidding of Tobias Whale (rapper Krondon) but walked the line of an anti-hero with a conscience. His anchor to the side of light was Jefferson “Black Lightning” Pierce’s daughter Jennifer (China Anne McClain), aka Lightning and Khalil’s love interest.
Though Khalil did the bidding of Tobias Whale (rapper Krondon), he walked the line of an anti-hero with a conscience, with Jefferson “Black Lightning” Pierce’s daughter, Jennifer (China Anne McClain), otherwise known as Lightning, serving as his love interest and anchor to the side of light.
Presumed dead by Whale’s hand, Khalil was revived by agents of the American Security Agency (ASA) and turned into a weapon for their purposes. In the pilot, Khalil moves to a new city, Akashic Valley, leaving behind his old life, his loved ones, including Jennifer, and his dark side.
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But his past won’t leave him alone, and so Khalil has “to deal with and harness his darker side” in a new mission to bring about justice.
Black Lightning executive producer Salim Akil will write, direct, and serve as EP for the episode that will air during the show’s fourth season. On a related note, unlike the laste three seasons, season four will take place on the universe’s post-Crisis Earth-Prime.
This past year, the CW similarly used an episode of Arrow as a backdoor pilot for a potential spinoff and continuation of the popular series, Green Arrow and the Canaries , though this pilot has yet to be ordered into a series.
With Arrow gone and The Flash and Supergirl winding down, some room could be made for both Painkiller and the Canaries in The CW’s DC lineup. After all, that’s how most of the network’s DC shows came to be.
Flash began with guest appearances and a backdoor pilot on Arrow. Ruby Rose’s first appearance as Batwoman was on an episode of Supergirl during a crossover event. Superman & Lois spins off from Supergirl after Tyler Hoechlin put the time in on there as the Man of Steel.
Are you excited fora Painkiller series? Are there any characters you hope to see make an appearance? Let us know your thgouths on social media or in the comments down below!